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Roanoke creates domestic violence task force

By Hollani Davis
Published On: Jun 05 2013 02:25:57 PM EDT
Updated On: Jun 06 2013 02:51:25 PM EDT
Roanoke creates domestic violence task force
ROANOKE, Va. -

It's a crime that has never gone away. However, police in Roanoke City have seen a surge in cold blooded domestic violence cases.

They say last October a woman was stabbed to death after a sour relationship.
In December, a husband was charged with killing his wife with eight kids inside the home.
Three months ago another woman also brutally murdered.

"I think Domestic Violence has reared it's ugly head,' says Roanoke City councilman Sherman Lea.

These incidents, so close together, have prompted  Lea to start a domestic violence task force similar to the one he created seven years ago.  The last task force disbanded after creating a couple new positions for social service works.  The group was also successful in funding the hiring of two police officers who focus on domestic violence cases.

One of those officers is Detective F.W. Leftwich.

"We went out spoke with a person, a victim, and she started crying and said I can't believe you all actually come out and make house calls.  That you actually come out and speak with us," says Leftwich.

Police Chief Chris Perkins believes his domestic violence officers have made a difference, but just like he's building success cracking down on drug dealers he's equally committed to cracking down on domestic violence abusers.

The task force will be meeting this month.  It's a real effort this time is to focus on the abusers.  The police chief, who is also on the task force, is currently studying a new initiative that another state is using.  He is considering bringing that same model to Roanoke.  He says we can expect more details in the coming months.

NOTE: A previous version of this story incorrectly reported that the City of Roanoke has the state's second highest rate of domestic violence homicides.  It should have read the Southwest Virginia region.